The Making of Wargaming Recon’s 100th Episode

WGR-100thWargaming Recon celebrated its 100th episode on September 18, 2013. In some ways the 100th episode has been seven years in the making. Each new episode builds on those preceding. The community surrounding the podcast has grown through the years. The continued growth nurtures the show and the larger wargaming community.

Those who podcast know that an episode takes longer to create than the actual playing time. The rule of thumb is to multiply the running time by two. Special episodes can take a lot longer. The seed for episode 100 was planted in November 2012.

I joined Troll in the Corner’s owner Ben Gerber in raising funds for Boston Children’s Hospital as part of the Extra Life 24hr Game-a-thon. It felt wonderful to give back to a good cause. At that point I desired to show my appreciation to all who listen to and been supportive of Wargaming Recon over the years. This idea was put aside while I concentrated on the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide.

Over the Christmas holiday I formulated a plan. The 100th episode would be how I say thank you to everyone.  Instead of taking a single episode to say thanks I’d do something larger. To get the ball rolling I contacted graphic designer Jeremy Kostiew to rebrand the show. The logo he created was unveiled early in 2013.

Jeremy was also tasked with designing a special logo for the 100th episode. Meanwhile I contacted web designer Christopher Tarwater, husband of Troll in the Corner author Tristan Tarwater, to redesign the Wargaming Recon blog. With Jeremy and Christopher hard at work on their respective areas I had to put my nose to the grindstone.

My plan consisted of:

  1. Making episodes 90-99 extra special in some way.  This would culminate in the release of episode 100.
  2. Soliciting wargamers for tips to appear on episode 100
  3. Promoting the upcoming 100th episode through social media
  4. Giving back to charity by participating in a 3 mile walk for Cystic Fibrosis
  5. Contacting potential guests to appear in some of episodes 90-99

The response from wargamers providing tips and potential guests confirming appearances was overwhelming.  I needed an Excel spreadsheet to track it all.

The guest lineup reads, to me, like a who’s who of tabletop gaming.  Although not officially part of the lead up to Episode 100, I count Russ Lockwood’s appearance on Episode 89: More Secrets of Wargame Design as part of this.  Russ has done a lot in recent times to make classic sources available to the masses.  Sometimes scheduling doesn’t work as planned, which is why his episode fell outside the aforementioned ramp up.

  • Henry Hyde appeared on Episode 90 to discuss his new role at the helm of the iconic Miniature Wargames magazine
  • Aaron Bostian was the special guest for Episode 91 sharing how wargamers can give back
  • I had the tables turned on me for Episode 93 when Aaron interviewed me
  • Peter Bryant came on Episode 94 to promote his debut Kickstarter project and to talk about being an indie game designer
  • Jasper Oorthuys showed up for Episode 95.  He discussed being managing editor of a suite of historical and wargaming magazines.  Jasper also surprised me by giving a discount to the show’s listeners.
  • Ben Gerber popped by for Episode 96 to explain why wargamers should use a pay what you want model for their digital products.
  • Angelia Parenteau came on Episode 97.  TotalCon’s Promotional Director shared tips on how to run a successful convention game.
  • Derek Lloyd, Chase Laquidara, and Drew McCarthy appeared on Episode 98.  The old interview with Battleground Games’ owner, manager, and customer was conducted a few years back and finally came out of the vault.  Derek and Chase shared the origin of the hugely successful game store.

By June 2013 everything was coming together.  The arrival of August saw the deadline for tip submission.  Unfortunately we were short 27 tips.  I had always planned to enter some tips and Aaron had a few to give.  Together we finished the job.

Finally the time came to record the very special episode.  I asked Aaron to join me for this memorable occasion.  Since his first guest appearance he volunteered to help out in any way possible.  Aaron took charge of our Facebook presence.  He’s responsible for the wonderful images that fans can find on our page.

The journey to Episode 100 consists of hundreds of hours:

  • Scheduling guests
  • Giving away t-shirts
  • Redesigning the blog
  • Editing episodes 90-100
  • Compiling wargaming tips
  • Preparing for guest interviews
  • Promoting the show
  • Appearing on Ruthless Diastema
  • Playing games
  • Planning for the future

If you haven’t listened to Episode 100: 100 Wargaming Tips I hope that you’ll take the time to do so.  Here’s to the next 100 episodes!

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